ONLINE MUSICAL COLLABORATION FOR HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS - Lindsay Fulcher Public

Schools are often an integral part of a community. Students tend to form communities inside of schools (e.g., classes, clubs, ensembles) and outside of schools (e.g., neighborhoods, community sports teams). Communities of place, or communities formed on proximity, have been very common in the past, and being in community with people who are physically near is perhaps easy. However, Collins and Halverson (2009) propose that society is heavily supplementing communities of place with communities of interest, sometimes replacing the communities of place all together. Communities of interest are communities formed by shared desires or concerns. Instead of relying on physical proximity, Collins and Halverson suggest students prefer to commune with people who share their interests, regardless of distance. Technology makes it relatively easy to find and befriend people who share interests, even if these people are thousands of miles away (Collins & Halverson, 2009). As I read these ideas, watched my students participate in online activities, and even participated in online communities myself, I wondered about the impact of technology on musical communities. As a string player and orchestra teacher, I was particularly interested in how string students who already collaborate in place might view using technology to collaborate musically. String ensembles are a ‘community of interest’ already. They often form ‘communities of place’ out of necessity – they must be in proximity to rehearse. But rehearsals are not the only means of creating a musical community. The following questions came to mind as I considered string students forming technology-­‐based, online communities of interest rather than communities of place. Which websites did they enjoy using and why? Which websites did they not enjoy using and why? Did they enjoy collaborating synchronously or asynchronously and why? Most importantly, are string students from existing chamber groups interested in forming online communities of interest? In this study, these online communities of interest will be in addition to the time spent as a community of place (rehearsing traditionally). The purpose of this study was to observe how high school string players, from an existing chamber group, viewed online music collaboration. With this information I hoped to inform K-­‐12 string teachers and help them encourage their students to continue the musical experience online, outside of class.

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